As a driver in Ontario, making sure your driver’s licence is valid is crucial when it comes to legally staying on the road. With this being said, we at isure know how tricky the world of licence renewals can be. This is especially true since every licence class is different! You may want to simultaneously renew your health card when renewing your Ontario driver’s licence so that expiries and renewals can be done simultaneously. Unsure what steps you need to take when it comes to renewing your licence? Don’t fret, isure has you covered. Here is everything you need to know about how to renew your Ontario driver’s licence for every class.
When should I renew my Ontario driver’s licence?
As a driver, you are completely responsible for ensuring that your licence is valid when on the road. Most driver’s licences in Ontario expire every five years. You are able to renew your Ontario driver’s licence up to 180 days before the expiry date, this makes having your licence constantly up to date easy! If you’re a new driver and aren’t sure how to obtain this information, you should know that your licence expiry (EXP) is printed on your licence photo card.
When the time comes that you are due for a renewal, you should expect a renewal notice in the mail OR a digital reminder. This is why it’s important to make sure the Ministry of Transportation has your most recent address!
You should never delay the process of renewing your licence. This is because once it expires, you cannot renew it online. This can make the renewal process a lot more time-consuming since you will need to renew it in-person at ServiceOntario or a DriveTest centre. Let’s face it, sometimes the lines that come with ServiceOntario and DriveTest centre’s can be daunting! This is especially the case in bigger cities. To avoid wait times, renewing your licence before it expires is crucial!
As mentioned above, every class is different when it comes to how and when you should renew your licence.
Renewing your licence online
If you have a driver’s licence that will expire soon or has an expiry of less than one year ago, you can renew it online if:
- You have a full-class licence (G or M class) that isn’t cancelled or suspended
- You have a combination class of G1M, G2M, GM1, GM2, M1 or M2 (only the full portion will be renewed online)
- Didn’t need to update your address within the last 90 days
- Don’t need tests (vision, written, or road)
- You are under the age of 80 and don’t require your photo to be taken
- Are not removing a vision condition
- Have no new medical conditions that may prevent you from driving
- Don’t have outstanding fines or penalties
If you are eligible to renew your Ontario driver’s licence online, you will need:
- Your driver’s licence number
- The 7-digit trillium number found on the back of your driver’s licence
- Your postal code
How much to renew your licence online?
It will cost you $90 to renew your licence for five more years, however, fees may vary. Once your done, you can sit back and relax knowing your licence will arrive in the mail in 4-6 weeks!
What is the driver’s licence renewal process?
After completion of this process, you will be sent a temporary driver’s licence validation document if your licence has already expired OR you renew within 28 days of your current licence’s expiry date. Download, print and keep this document with your old licence until your new one arrives in the mail 4-6 weeks from the renewal date.
Novice driver licence renewal (G1, G2, M1 or M2)
When you are a novice driver, making sure your licence does not expire is crucial. This is due to the fact that once a novice class licence (G1, G2, M1, M2) expires, you cannot renew it. If you let your licence expire, you will have to reapply as a new driver at a DriveTest centre. This means you will have to re-do your G1 or G2 test, and likely driving school!
Luckily, there is some lenience in some scenarios. If you book a G1 or G2 test prior to your licence’s expiry date, you may be able to get an extension until your test. You can do this by visiting a DriveTest centre! A similar situation can occur for a Motorcycle M1 or M2 licence. If you book a road test before your licence expiry date, you may obtain a one-day Temporary Driver’s Licence (TDL) that is valid for the day of the road test only.
Please note that you cannot renew your license online if your driver’s licence is cancelled or has been expired for more than 12 months. Additionally, you can sign up for email reminders to notify you 60 and 30 days before your licence expires to avoid any hassle. You will need to visit a ServiceOntario location if:
- You are a first-time driver
- You need to renew your driver’s license (ages 80+)
- You need to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged driver’s license
- You need an accessible parking permit
- You need to replace a lost, stolen or damaged accessible parking permit
- You need to exchange an out-of-province or out-of-country driver’s license
- You’re looking to buy or sell a used vehicle
- You need to register a vehicle’s plate, permit, or sticker
- You need to register a farm vehicle
- You need a temporary license plate sticker
- You want to purchase a license plate with graphics
- You want to purchase a vintage license plate for a classic car
- You need a special permit
- You need a garage license
- You need to change information on a vehicle permit
You can renew your driver’s licence by visiting Ontario.ca!
Fully-licensed renewal (G and M)
If you’re a fully-licenced driver, your renewal process may be a bit different, depending on a few scenarios. This is because the renewal process depends on how long your licence has been expired or invalid for. Below, we have listed all of the possible steps when it comes to renewing your licence:
- Full licence invalid for less than a year: Visit a ServiceOntario centre. No tests are required for renewal.
- Full licence invalid for 1-3 years: Visit a DriveTest centre and successfully complete a vision test.
- Full licence invalid for 3-10 years: Visit a DriveTest centre and successfully complete a written knowledge test and a vision test. You will also need to successfully complete two road tests, a G2 and G or an M2 and M. You can book these as soon as you pass your knowledge and vision tests. From there, you can book your G and M as soon as you have completed your G2 and M2.
- Full licence invalid for 10+ years: Visit a DriveTest Centre and successfully complete a written knowledge test and vision test. Afterwards, you must complete two road tests, G2 and G or M2 and M. This is similar to the three-10 year period, except you must wait the necessary waiting requirement.
Commercial licence renewal (A, B, C, D, E, F)
When it comes to your commercial licence (Class A, B, C, D, E, F) it is important to know that if it expires, your Class G licence will expire, as well. This is when renewing a commercial licence can become a bit tricky. If your licence is invalid for more than three years, you will be required to reapply for a Class G licence. You will also have to meet all the requirements of a Class G graduated licence. This includes passing all the G tests! Once you have completed these, you will be able to reapply for any commercial-class licences.
If your licence has been invalid for less than three years, you will need to visit a DriveTest Centre in order to proceed. You will have to take vision and written knowledge tests. Additionally, you will need to submit a medical examination report. From there, you are able to reapply for any commercial-class licences.
What happens if I fail to renew my Ontario driver’s licence?
No matter what licence class you have, you are committing a serious crime if you have an invalid licence and get behind the wheel of a car. According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, driving without a licence is classified as an offense with a fine of at least $200 and up to $1,000. If you have a novice licence and are caught breaking the rules, you risk having your licence suspended. This will also get you some demerit points, making getting a licence renewal much more difficult and likely increasing the price of your auto insurance premiums.
When will my new licence arrive?
According to the ServiceOntario website, your new driver’s licence will arrive in the mail within 4 to 6 weeks. Don’t fret, though! You can still drive in during the time it takes for your licence to arrive. In the meantine, save and print your temporary driver’s licence at the end of your transaction. You must carry it with your expired photo driver’s licence while driving until your new one arrives.
Once you receive your new driver’s licence, you must destroy your old driver’s licence and your printed temporary driver’s licence.
Paying fines and licence reinstatement fees
Your default fines must be paid in-full before renewing your driver’s licence, plate stickers or ordering a custom licence plate. This applies to any unpaid moving violations, including speeding, drinking and driving, careless driving and racing. These fines DO NOT include parking or highway toll fines. You may also need to pay a reinstatement fee if you have a licence suspension. To pay default fines, reinstatement fees, or other penalties online, you’ll need:
- Your driver’s licence number
- The suspension number (can be found on the “Notice of Suspension of Driver’s Licence” document sent by the Ministry of Transportation)
Alternatively, you can use the offence number. This is the number that is found on your “Notice of Fine and Due Date” or your “Form Order” from the courts.
It’s important to stay up-to-date with all of your driving documents and renewals. This ensures that you are driving safely, responsibly and most importantly, legally. Renewing your licence is also a perfect time to make sure your car insurance is up to date! Are you in the market for a new insurance provider? If so, why not check out isure? We have some of the best premiums in the province, as well as customer service that is always there for you when you need it. Contact us or request a quote today!